Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quick! To the Matt phone

How do I go about explaining one of the cooler moments that I've experienced recently?

Earlier today, I received an email from someone portraying himself as "Matt Sosnick". [I know Matt Sosnick as the agent for Jay Bruce, Dontrelle Willis and up until last week, Josh Hamilton.] In the email, "Matt Sosnick" asked for my phone number so he could give me a call. Could be spam, could be one of you knuckleheads having a good prank, could be a hoax. Except in the email, there was a copied roster of players, all with hyperlinks back to Sosnick's firm's website. OK, could still be a prank (I'm a suspicious sort). I checked the website and saw that it was just that, a direct copy/paste. Super-sleuth that I am, I dug a bit into the StatCounter and saw a number of IP addresses that were coming from the same place in California. All of these addresses visited my Josh Hamilton posting from last week during the day today, right about when the email arrived. So, I sent along my cell number. And waited. Anxiously.

An hour or so later, I get a call from a California area code and it's none other than Matt Sosnick himself. The subject of Jerry Crasnick's "License To Deal". I'm giddy. I wasn't sure if he was calling to complain or calling me to discuss the situation or what.

Matt was calling to thank me for my posting and support in the face of his abrupt and baseless firing. He doesn't so much care about his public perception, like any good agent, but the rationale and timing about his dismissal clearly bothered him and his partner, Paul Cobbe. The Sosnick-Cobbe firm has a handsome list of MLB players, but is really just a smaller player in the agent business so a loss of a guy like Hamilton (and his pending commissions) hurts not just on a professional level, but a personal one, too. Maybe moreso.

As I mentioned in the posting:

I was taken aback and insulted that he'd switch his agent, one who presumably stuck with him and helped him to get this far, right as he's about to hit the lottery for himself (and his agent!). The other side of me understands, no matter how much I dislike the rationale.
Matt shared with me that Hamilton called him and told him he had a dream that "Jesus told him to switch agents". I'm not making this a religious issue, and I don't have a problem with anyone following their beliefs, but it seems awfully un-Christian-like to dump the people who have supported you through your worst times, your lowest lows. Matt had been in negotiations on Hamilton's behalf, with his obvious permission, right up until Hamilton canned him. Matt has every right to fight for any commission earned, and while I am not a lawyer, it seems that if Matt & Paul carried the negotiations to the point of signing, they should be paid the commission, not whomever Hamilton chose at 11:59.

Again, Matt could not have been nicer. The fact that he took the time to personally call me said a lot to me about him as a person, reinforcing the image crafted by Crasnick in the book. The pain he and Paul (and the rest of his team) must be feeling is still fresh and it hurts. If I could give him an "attaboy, go get 'em" pat on the back, I would have. This is a guy who cares deeply about his players, and treats them as family. While losing Hamilton hurts (see ya, multi-million dollar commission), I hope the reputation of Sosnick-Cobbe Sports grows as a result. They deserve it.

Matt, thanks for taking the time, more time than you probably expected but I appreciated it. I wish you and the rest of your team all the best. And if you are looking to staff up in NY, I know a guy....

UPDATE: Matt was also kind enough to grant permission for an interview at some point soon. If you have any questions you'd like me to ask him, please post them here in comments or email me.


Anonymous said...

Hi. thanks for your info. I don't incompletely disagree with you. And i am not sold on Hamilton's explanation. But I really wonder how much did the agent factor in his climbing back from the hell. I mean, I have read quite a lot about this guy but none of that stories really involve his agent. how often did Matt call him when he's in his lowest point, drunk and crack?
In fact this is what I want to ask for any agent-client relationship: how much will an agent care when his/her clients are doing rock bottom.
Just for discussion anyway.

Anonymous said...

Matt and Paul are the biggest and best of the smaller agents. They take care of each of their players as if they were family some time to the determent of their firm. Instead of abandoning guys who don't make it to the big leagues or big salaries as quickly as they should they they stick by them (unlike Boras who is only out for one person as evidenced in the Arod debacle a few months ago). Josh Hamiliton (and his father in law who from all accounts was an instigator in all this, hello, Joe Simpson) gave a black eye to Christianity. Matt and Paul are acting more Christian by turning the other cheek neither have come out and said the disparaging things that they could level at Josh. They absolutely deserve the commision and Josh should remember in addition to Christianity there is something called kharma....

themarksmith said...

Can an agent just drop a client like Hamilton just dropped him?

How much do agents get of a contract?

How bitter can rivalries between agents get when competing over players, draft picks, etc.?

Wells said...

Anyone defending an action by saying Jesus told them to in a dream should be rightly labelled either delusional or stupid. That kind of silliness and intellectual laziness shouldn't be tolerated in adult society. Religious tolerance should allow for such dishonest nonsense to go by.

Anonymous said...

Hamilton's story has been great, but wow. This is really foul. I'll say this; karma is a biatch, and he's used up quite a bit already to get where he is today. Doing something like this, well let's just say I won't be jumping up to grab him early in next year's draft. Some players you just prefer to let other guys have, and he's one of them. I have a feeling this will even out somehow, and for those of you who think that that's ridiculous, it's no more ridiculous than believing the invisible sky wizard's son came to you in a dream to advise you on your business matters.